In nonconference play, the Ninilchik Wolverines girls and boys basketball teams took on the Homer Mariner JV teams in Homer on Saturday. The Wolverines returned home after claiming a double victory:
Girls: Ninilchik 49, Homer JV 18
Boys: Ninilchik 57, Homer JV 46
The Mariners matched up against Seward last Friday for the second time this season, the boys taking home their second victory over the Seahawks and the girls losing another close, hard-fought game. To the coaches and the crowds, however, both contests showed significant improvement in cohesive team play for the Mariners over the past month.
The Mariner boys, who beat Seward by only one point in late December, led Friday’s game from the first quarter to finish with a significant 59-42 victory.
In the annual, three-day Warrior Rumble at Nikolaevsk School, the Fort Yukon Eagles boys team and the Newhalen Malamutes girls team took first place in basketball action. The Nikolaevsk Warriors boys and girls teams took second and the Newhalen Malamutes boys and Fort Yukon Eagles girls were third. The boys and girls teams from the fourth school to participate in the tournament, the Tri-Valley Viking Warriors, were presented with sportsmanship awards.
The Nikolaevsk Warriors varsity boys basketball team claimed a 52-49 victory in Friday’s game against the Wasilla Lake Christian School Rams.
Today begins the annual three-day Warrior Rumble in Nikolaevsk’s Warrior Dome, with visiting teams from Newhalen, Tri-Valley and Fort Yukon. None of the match-ups are conference games, but with the Newhalen girls team defending 1A state champs and the Fort Yukon boys shaping up for a push at the state title, there should be plenty of exciting action.
In an effort to raise some much-needed cash, the Mariner basketball teams resorted to a tried-and-true combination at Saturday’s Meet the Mariners fundraising event: public humiliation and sugar.
“This thing is heavy,” said senior Paul Trowbridge, a large carrot cake teetering precariously in his right hand.
“Look at it. This is the moistest carrot cake in the state.”
The Mariners last at-home hockey game of the season was a bitter battle against the SoHi Stars Tuesday night.
The Soldotna varsity team was the first onto the board, scoring two points in the first period, followed by one more in the second period. Even a penalty shot attempt by Mariner forward Garrett Butcher with less than two minutes left in the second period and the hometown fans cheering loudly wasn’t enough to get the puck past the Stars’ goaltender.
It was a weekend of hockey away from home last weekend as the Mariners went up against Service and Eagle River. Today begins three days of hockey action at the Kevin Bell Arena, with the Mariners playing host to Palmer, Colony and Wasilla.
The Nikolaevsk Warriors girls and boys basketball teams were host to the Nikiski Bulldogs “C” team on Tuesday. In the two non-conference games, the Nikolaevsk girls won their match-up, 38-16, and the boys followed suit with an even bigger margin of victory, 59-15.
High scorers for the Warrior girls were Serafima Kalugin with 13 points and Megan Hickman with 12.
Non-conference games like Tuesday’s “give the girls more games against a variety of schools and levels of playing,” said Head Coach Bea Klaich.
The Mariners swept Nikiski last Saturday afternoon with two tightly executed games, spreading rumblings of their strength this season farther up the peninsula. The two wins bumped the Mariners’ in-conference season records to 2-1 for the boys (2-4 overall) and 3-0 for the girls (5-2 overall).
Last Saturday, under clear blue skies with not a patch of snow in sight and temperatures in the mid-40s, the Mariner ski team was outside, once again, making the best of it. Instead of calling off the team’s scheduled “ski-athon” event and adding to a long list of disappointing cancellations this season, coaches Alison O’Hara and Alan Parks morphed the fundraiser into a competition as unique as this winter’s weather.
The large crowd gathered in the Homer High School gym on Dec. 30was loud with school spirit and holiday cheer as they watched the Mariners face off against Kenai in the first home basketball games of the season. Both teams fought hard against the Kardinals, but despite the encouragement, failed to close out 2014 with a win.
By McKibben Jackinsky
Search through a list of basketball fouls and its doubtful you’ll find “hugging.” However, with a confused look, a smile and a shrug of his shoulders, that was the best description referee Mike Etzwiler could give for what was happening in the Warrior Dome as Nikolaevsk varsity teams played the alumni on Friday.
Sixteen masters swimmers competed in the first annual Kachemak Swim Club Masters Sextathlon at Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center, Dec. 20. Events contested were the 100 free, 50 fly, 50 back, 50 breast, 50 free and 100 IM.
Overall winners were determined by the lowest cumulative time for all six events.
Four Mariner mat men travelled to Reno for the 20th anniversary of the Reno Tournament of Champions, titled “The Toughest Tournament in America.”
The top three placers in each weight class earn All-American status.
Homer sophomore Jared Brant, 120 pounds, fresh off of a fourth-place finish at the Alaska State Tournament, opened with eventual champion Jared Torres of Pamona, Colo. Brant held his own in the first period and only trailed 2-0. Torres was able to turn Brant a couple of times and eventually pinned Brant in the third period.
Despite continually disappointing snow conditions, the Mariner ski team is putting their faith in the recent cold weather and a communal wish for snow. Their “skiathon” team fundraiser has been scheduled for Saturday, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Similar to the Kachemak Swim Club’s “swimathon,” the skiers will collect pledges from family and friends at a per-kilometer rate, earning more money for their team the farther they ski.
After fending off the alumni 8-6 in a Dec. 27 at-home game, the Homer Mariner varsity hockey team is on the road this week, with games against Service and Eagle River on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and then back home for a full weekend of action against Palmer, Colony and Wasilla, Jan. 15-17.
When the buzzer sounded Saturday night signaling the end of the final game of the CIA Classic tournament, the Seldovia boys hoops team was celebrating a big 55-34 victory over Peninsula Conference rival Cook Inlet Academy, but it was another team walking away with the championship trophy.
The Soldotna boys JV squad took home the hardware after winning a tiebreaker based on the team’s free-throw percentage over the three days. The Stars compiled a 63.4 percent shooting mark from the charity stripe, while Seldovia ranked second with a 61 percent tally.
Last Thursday’s scheduled Candy Cane ski meet in Soldotna was canceled due to lack of snow, bringing the season total up to four consecutive cancellations or alterations in competition for the Mariners.
Assistant Coach Gus Beck is not optimistic about the snow prospects for the rest of the winter.
“I think this is what the whole season will be like,” said Beck.
It may be the holiday season, but both the Soldotna and Homer hockey teams were not in a giving mood Friday in Northstar Conference action at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
The two squads, who had played three times previously this season with SoHi winning twice, played to a scoreless draw. The Stars enter the holiday break at 5-6-2 and 0-3-1 in the conference, while the Mariners are 7-5-1 and 1-3-1.
With a season record of 5-1, the Lady Mariners, who brought home two more wins last Thursday and Friday against Kenai and SoHi, are undoubtedly on a roll. The Mariners have squashed doubts about their small stature and new coaching staff as they continue to rebound from adversity with composure and grit.
“We just played great team basketball,” said Head Coach Chad Felice. “Everyone from one to 10 helped out. These girls just don’t quit.”